I was talking with Barry Langdon the founder of S-Chelate Plant Nutrition the other day. S-Chelate 12 is a complete plant food that contains the basic NPK mix of most fertilisers plus chelated micro-nutrients. These micro-nutrients are more important than you might think. You can find the full list here – just click Elemental Content.
For example, iron is needed primarily for the chlorophyll in leaves which powers the plant’s chemical factory. It’s also needed in other functions. The plant only needs tiny amounts but without those amounts, growth and yield will suffer. Just in the same way that iron deficiency in people causes anaemia, the result of a shortfall can be large.
Fantastic Christmas Cactus
He gets these results by feeding the plants on S-Chelate 12 every couple of weeks.
He’s justifiably quite proud of his cacti – the ones in the kitchen window are amazing. We’ve had two flowers off ours and thought we were doing well!
I’ve always said that cacti thrive on neglect – the biggest cause of death being over-watering. Obviously they thrive even better on some TLC and feed!
Mixing Concentrated Feed
There is a problem with making up the houseplant feed though. S-Chelate 12 Star is supplied as a powder which uses less packaging and storage space than a liquid feed. One 500 gram tub is easier to transport than 200 litres of made up liquid!
The amount required for houseplant feed is tiny, just one of the small (5 grams) scoops that comes with the feed makes up two litres. I’ve come up with an easy way to mix it. Put a scoop full into a measuring jug of water and stir until it’s dissolved – warm water will make it dissolve more quickly. Then pour half the concentrated feed into a one litre bottle and use the remainder topped up to a litre to feed the plants. Next time you don’t have to mix up a feed, its in the bottle ready.
Label the bottle with what it contains (Indoor Plant Feed) replacing or covering the original label. Then keep it well out of the way of children. It’s not deadly poison or anything but you don’t want your little ones thinking it’s pop and taking a swig.
Feeding on the Plot
We then moved onto to feeding in the garden.
I said that when you’ve a fair area to cover, it’s a bit time consuming making up a watering can full after can full and dosing the potato patch.
Barry told me he uses a Kaheign Garden Hose Foam Sprayer which is widely available on eBay or Amazon.
I half fill the soap dispenser with S-Chelate 12 Star and turn the spray setting to “Soap” which introduces water into the 12 Star and it comes out of one of the spray nozzles onto your plants.You can regulate the flow by adjusting the hose tap pressure.
You apply as much of the S-Chelate solution as you need for your plant and you can dilute it back by changing the setting to “Water” and spraying water.
Barry asked me to mention that you can get 20% off S-Chelate using code XMAS20 until 31st December – S-Chelate Web Site